News

Read On Arizona Part of National Diverse Books for All Coalition

October 25, 2022

Read On Arizona is proud to be a founding member of the Diverse Books for All Coalition, a group of 27 organizations from across the country working together to increase access to affordable, high-quality children’s books depicting diverse cultures and written by diverse authors.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation has awarded First Book, the nonprofit social enterprise that organized the coalition, a $1 million, 18-month grant to support the initiative.

“We’re excited to be part of this collaborative effort to support educational equity,” said Lori Masseur, director of early learning for Read On Arizona. “It’s critically important that children are exposed to a wide range of diverse stories and that they see reflections of themselves as protagonists in the books they see and read.”

According to the Cooperative Children’s Book Center, in the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, out of the 3,183 children’s books published in 2021, about one-third focused on diverse cultures, and only 22% of those books were written by diverse authors.

Read On Arizona will help provide strategic direction for the coalition’s plan for collective action designed to double the number of affordable, quality children’s books by and about diverse cultures and races over the next five years.

The group is focused on unifying the market of nonprofits and membership organizations serving children in low-income communities; framing a narrative to promote the importance of diverse books; providing educators with support and resources to advocate for diverse books; and ensuring that parents and caregivers have a voice in defining and promoting diverse books.

Lori Masseur represents partners in Read On Arizona on the coalition’s workgroup focused on diverse books collective purchasing.

Learn more about the Diverse Books for All Coalition.